Argentina sanctions Israeli oil company over exploration near Falklands

Argentine law requires a permit for work on the country's continental shelf and punishes non-compliance with these rules with a ban on activities from five to 20 years.
Argentina sanctions Israeli oil company over exploration near Falklands

Argentina: Argentina has imposed sanctions against Israeli oil company Navitas Petroleum for exploring hydrocarbons off the Falkland Islands (Malvinas), the country's Foreign Ministry said on Saturday. Argentine law requires a permit for work on the country's continental shelf and punishes non-compliance with these rules with a ban on activities from five to 20 years.

"The Ministry of Energy, after conducting an appropriate administrative process, determined that Navitas' activities were illegal, so the company was barred from operating in Argentina for 20 years," the ministry said in a statement.

Last July, the Argentine Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of Energy announced sanctions targeting oil companies Chrysaor Holdings Limited and Harbour Energy Plc (UK) and Navitas Petroleum LP (Israel) due to operations related to hydrocarbon exploration on the Argentine continental shelf in the North Malvinas Basin, "carried out under illegal licenses from the illegitimate authorities of the Malvinas Islands."

The Falkland Islands or the Malvinas remain the subject of a long-standing dispute between Argentina and the United Kingdom, which led to an armed conflict in 1982, resulting in London's victory.

At that time Argentina attempted to establish itself on the islands, controlled by the UK since 1833, by force. In March 2013, the archipelago held a referendum on the status of the territory, with 99.8 per cent of local residents have preferred to remain a UK overseas territory. Argentina has not recognized the vote's results.

Tensions over the territory intensified after British oil companies said they had discovered new oil and gas deposits near the islands in 2015.

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